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European POLARIC project is revolutionising production of organic electronic circuits


A new EU-funded project POLARIC was launched in January 2010 to develop roll-to-roll printing of high-performance organic electronic circuits. The project will revolutionise the way printed electronic circuits are made by combining large-area fabrication methods with high-performance organic electronic circuits on a scale not previously attempted.

So far the appearance of organic thin film transistors and circuits in industrial products has been limited. The main obstacle for substantial market penetration of such organic electronic components has been the inability to achieve the necessary device performance combined with the necessary high-volume production methods.

In response to this, the POLARIC project “Printed, Organic and Large-Area Realisation of Integrated Circuits” aims to revolutionise the way printed electronic circuits are made. This will be done by combining large-area fabrication methods with high-performance organic electronic circuits on a scale not previously attempted. The high performance of the organic circuits referred to here means high speed (kHz-MHz range), low operating voltage (below 5 V), low power consumption, and low parasitic capacitance. At the same time, the manufacturing process will be focused to produce components and circuits with extremely high yield using large-area compatible, high-volume methods.

To achieve these goals, the POLARIC project will develop further roll-to-roll (R2R) printing methods, e.g. R2R compatible nanoimprinting technologies for short channel configuration of the electrodes. Proper material selection will lead to high performance complementary circuit devices. The POLARIC project will also provide solutions for the fabrication of R2R tools in order to make serial replication viable. Finally, the circuit design, modelling, and characterisation of organic electronics will be developed to offer a toolbox similar to that of silicon-based microelectronics.

After the project, high-performing organic electronic building blocks and manufacturing platforms can be used in all areas of printed electronics such as sensors, memories, batteries, photovoltaics, lighting and any combination of these devices.

As a large-scale strategic project, POLARIC includes a large amount of dissemination activities, key personnel and student exchange, training, and networking activities.

The European Union funds the 48-month POLARIC project with 9.9 Million euros and the work is divided between 13 partners from 7 different countries. The partners are VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (the coordinator, Finland), 3D-Micromac (Germany), AMO (Germany), BASF (Switzerland), CSEM (Switzerland), Cardiff University (UK), Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft IZM (Germany), IMEC (Belgium), Imperial College London (UK), Joanneum Research (Austria), micro resist technology (Germany), Obducat Technologies (Sweden), and Asulab, a division of The Swatch Group Research and Development Ltd. (Switzerland).

The figure compares the POLARIC target to the current state-of-the-art in organic electronics.

Web site of the POLARIC project: